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The case of the dirty neighbor.
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1992 May; 7(5):292-293
A health hazard evaluation was requested from NIOSH by a manufacturing facility to evaluate employee exposures to metal dusts reportedly originating from an adjacent zinc recycling company. The recycling process involved reclaiming electric arc furnace fume, the primary hazard of which is lead (7439921) contamination. NIOSH conducted industrial hygiene surveys of the manufacturing facility on February 26, and June 4, 1991. Air, wipe, and bulk sampling was performed and employee interviews were conducted. Additional air lead monitoring and employee blood lead samples were collected on August 15, 1991. Personal breathing samples for lead in the manufacturing facility ranged from less than 3 micrograms per cubic meter (microg/m3) to 7microg/m3. Wipe samples indicated significant quantities of lead in all locations tested. Bulk metal samples collected from a furnace filter in the facility contained 4.5% lead by weight on the first visit and 1.7% lead on the second visit. Filter dust samples contained 18% zinc on both visits. Notable lead concentrations were found in the soil around the facility. Lead concentrations in employee blood samples were well below the OSHA standard and blood zinc-protoporphyrin concentrations were all within normal range. Half the first shift employees attributed their illnesses to the work environment. The author concludes that the entire manufacturing facility is contaminated with lead, but that excessive exposure was not indicated by air sampling and blood analysis. Engineering controls in the workplace were recommended.
NIOSH-Author; Air-monitoring; Air-sampling; Blood-analysis; Case-studies; Health-survey; Lead-compounds; Metal-dusts; Occupational-exposure; Zinc-compounds; Environmental-contamination
Issue of Publication
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division